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Excellent post, Michael, and a pleasure to read. I can relate to all of it, though I often do struggle with letting my intuition be my guide.

I've got something to add, a point that I don't believe you mentioned. By now (age 66) I've learned that there are certain key experiences I will never have in this lifetime, areas in which I feel I've had only minimal satisfaction or success.

What a difference it makes to know that I will have other lifetimes in which to enjoy other strengths and other areas of focus. As I see it, there will be countless journeys to come, in or out of the body, in which I'll get to enjoy feelings and pleasures I've been missing.

And that makes it so much easier to accept, to relax, and to enjoy what I do have.

I know that atheists will see this attitude as defeatist and as pure wishful thinking. I felt that way too, for many, many years, so I can certainly relate to that perspective.

All I can say is that now, when I combine my intuition and my logic to the best of my ability, I come to a different conclusion.

"there's more to life than train sets."

Are you saying that model railroaders have a one-track mind?

"Are you saying that model railroaders have a one-track mind?"

Ouch!

I think the afterlife to me is anti-morbid.

Morbid is having no belief in an afterlife and a grim fatalist view of the universe...

Feelings of morbidity make way for the need to look into afterlife matters to cancel such feelings out.

Henry Bauer’s wonderful book (cheap used on Amazon), Science or Pseudoscience: Magnetic Healing, Psychic Phenomena, and Other Heterodoxies, at http://www.amazon.com/Science-Pseudoscience-Magnetic-Phenomena-Heterodoxies/dp/0252072162/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1366012703&sr=1-2&keywords=Science+or+Pseudoscience, contains this passage:


Anomolous beliefs can bring quite tangible benefits. My own fascination with Loch Ness Monsters . . . has brought me nothing but good, quite irrespective of whether my belief is true or not . . . .

My fascination with Nessie stimulated me to think and learn about the significance of science in a way that practicing chemistry had never done. It led me to recognize the high degree of human ignorance about significant matters. It led me to the extraordinary insight that I may be wrong even when I’m enormously sure that I’m right. It led me to take an interest in other unorthodox matters and thereby learn a great deal about all sorts of enthralling things and to come to know some marevellously interesting people.

Nessie was even good for my career. . . . I wanted to make something like history of science rather than chemistry my professional pursuit. That led me to seek an administrative position, as a way station while changing intellectual fields. That administrative job brought quite unforeseen intellectual benefits: it taught me a lot of things I never knew existed to be learned, like the cultural differences between academic fields.

. . . and moreover it’s been a lot of fun. . . .

Many years ago a Japanese friend observed that I practiced “Nessie-do.” He went on to explain that the suffix “-do” (as in “bushido,” “judo,” “Shinto”) was also the Chinese “Tao,” signifying way or path. The underlying concept, he explained, is that devoted pursuit of even an apparently limited subject—military arts, wrestling, archery, Nessie—if carried on with sufficient dedication can lead to understanding and enlightenment far beyond the particular quest.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I personally don’t believe that humans have a sixth sense. I don’t believe that UFOs are anything but misperceptions. I don’t think that Bigfoot exists. But Nessies have taught me that I could be wrong about any one or more of these; and that even if I’m not, there’s a great deal to be gained—and nothing that I can see to be lost—by trying to find out for sure. [pp. 197–98]


See also the concluding section of his book, “Benefits of Anomalistics,” starting on page 235.

Interesting post. I agree with Cyrus that interest in the subject is actually the opposite of morbid. I too have learned many lessons through my personal research including how to better assess evidence, when not to bother arguing or debating (work in progress), aside from the information I have discovered.

Those who are simply not interested in the subject puzzle me, as opposed to those who have reached a conclusion one way or the other on the matter.

The journey is one we must all make, probably the most signifificant. How can one be uninterested? As a friend of mine once said, 'we're all in the same queue, we just don't know where'.

Like this one Michael your blogs're always at their most powerful for me when you do that happy thing you do of interweaving the personal with the objective.

I'd merely add even in conventional consensus science it's fully understood you can't even begin to get a handle on life until you factor in death and on so many different levels and in so many different ways eg finding out what causes death in cancer before cancer causes death in us and what exactly is death anyway when seemingly brain dead people can come back to consciousness after decades of coma?

And as for open or closed mindedness I'd suggest it's only when we neither believe or disbelieve anything we're genuinely open minded.

For instance someone once told me they make out with Jesus and I admit I had to fight a little to keep my mind open on that one and even then couldn't resist thinking well surely Jesus could do better for himself than them!

But even if that person subsequently claims Jesus wants me to give them a million quid even then I don't have to either believe or disbelieve any of it merely say "Sorry Jeez ol' boy bu' I'm skint!"

Why do we have to believe or disbelieve anything?

Yes, nice post, Michael.

I agree, Cyrus. I find that the existence of an afterlife is invigorating and, as Michael says, causes positive improvements in my character.

As for obsessing, I come here because I *don't* talk about these topics any where else with anyone else. Yet I think they are important and they interest me deeply. Although my wife and I have discussed them quite a bit in the last year due to certain events, previously, in all the years we've been together, I could count the times we got into the subject on one hand.

Usually I come here to read and comment when I am waiting for something at work. Like right now I am transferring some large files and they're taking their time. If I tried to do anything else my desktop might freeze up. It's rare that I make a special trip to my desk to engage in this topic. I have to already be there and be waiting for something such that I have free time (and bored).

Great post.

To add: I have found my New Age friends to be very grounded and practical on the whole.

The idea that "woo woo" beliefs are somehow an impediment in life I think is demonstrably false.

What a beautiful post, gave me goose bumps. Maybe it is partly my story too. Sometimes I may have become a little too obsessed with these questions. Life seems to have a way of slapping me around until I do a few touch-and-go’s on the deck of consensual reality before soaring back into the ether again. On the plus side it has made me so much better at coping with adversity, at least in some instances. Partly because this world seems a little less real, a little less solid, and a whole lot less serious than it used to. Not that I don’t slip back into enraged toddler mode regularly and think very dark thoughts about the world. I just have a little more trouble believing them for as long.

Once again my investments are crashing, but it seems as much silly as alarming. Before I have been devastated. Now I just see this inverted pyramid, layer after layer of scam, fraud, manipulation, hallucination, masturbation, and ponzification piled upon a sliver of economic reality that is mostly itself unreal puking red numbers instead of green. Sure it could have dire implications for my future, but somehow it is just not as terrifying as it used to be. It just does not feel as real, don’t know how else to say it. [I do however reserve the right to sing a different tune from under the bridge.]

It is also much harder to take the enticements of this world seriously. Huge houses, wealth, power, and all the rest of it. The St. Vitus’s dance of the elite is so tedious. Can’t they think up anything more interesting to to with their money? It would be fascinating to know what readers here would do with, say, a hundred million dollar windfall. I bet those funds would be used by your readers in far different ways than the general population. And far more interesting ways.

Conservatives are fond of reminding us that ideas have consequences. What more profound consequences could there be than those arising from a serious understanding of the idea that consciousness is the ultimate reality?

If you would be willing to go into more detail concerning your techniques with George and the guides, I would be grateful. If there is hope for you maybe there is hope for me also in such an endeavor.

I recently turned 60 years of age. My mom died at age 51 when I was 15 years old from stomach cancer, my dad died at age 65 from cardiomyopathy when I was 31, all my grandparents are gone, all my aunts and uncles - who died in their early to mid 70's, and my sister Rose died of kidney failure when she was 46 years old.

My point is that I'm fairly certain I've probably lived at least 3/4s of my life and have recently started on the last quarter of my life. The older I get the faster time seems to move past me. We moved to Middle Tennessee 7 years ago and I can hardly believe how fast those seven years have flown by; like the blink of an eye.

So I might have 12 - 15 years left before it's my turn to cross over too. So at this stage of the game I wonder what awaits me on the other side. It was around the year 2000 at age 47 when I first became interested in this stuff. When I read about NDE's and the holographic universe and then later learned about death bed visions and ADC's and Mediums like John Edward and George Anderson. And then a little later after that I read some popular physics books about quantum physics books and it became another piece of the puzzle.

And then like the game shows where they put letters up on the board and you have to figure out what the message is all of a sudden one day all the letters coalesced and I saw the answer. "George" told me what it means and why I'm here and to not be afraid. That even though I'm starting the last quarter of my life there is nothing to be afraid of.

"So, for a moment, you see. Relax. Don't take yourself so seriously! All is well. We are forever one."
Excerpt from Riding the Dragon, Transcendental experiences of Scientists, http://www.issc-taste.org/arc/dbo.cgi?set=expom&id=00070&ss=1

"a hundred million dollar windfall?"

I know what I would do... find out the truth about the reality of the world we live in ;). With only a million dollars, I could gather a team to prove psi so convincingly that even the "Amazing" Randi would have to give up. With a hundred million, maybe prove reincarnation.

Wouldn't these things be more meaningful than a nice house?

So my point was that life goes by pretty fast so it doesn't hurt to expend a little effort to see if anything comes after. Know what I mean? {grin!}

Herb wrote, "If you would be willing to go into more detail concerning your techniques with George and the guides, I would be grateful."

We can get into the guided meditations later. As far as George is concerned, the technique is very simple. It seems to work best when done according to the following steps:

1. A clear identification of the problem that needs to be solved.

2. Instructions to your subconscious mind/helpers/higher self/whatever to please solve the problem within a certain time limit, say 24 hours.

3. The self-discipline not to think about the problem again for that interval of time.

4. And finally, the ability to sit down at the appropriate time and try to access the information. I find that free-assoiciating with pen and paper is useful; the first one or two attempts may be poor, but then something will click and the good ideas will start to flow.

It's probably not a bad idea to express some gratitude for having received the solution. ("Thanks, guys!")

A degree of confidence or trust that the method will work may also be helpful. Otherwise you may unconsciously sabotage the process. I suspect that one reason that psi abilities are so variable is that many people sabotage their psi talents through self-doubt, or by picking up on the doubts of others. (The presence of overtly unsympathetic skeptics apparently can inhibit psi phenomena in some cases, probably because the psychic's or medium's subconscious picks up on the skeptics' doubts and internalizes them.)

Of course, the more you use this method with good results, the more confidence you will have in it. So I would expect it to work better with practice.

"To add: I have found my New Age friends to be very grounded and practical on the whole."
said Matt Rouge

Please disassociate me from this remark! I'm certainly not "New Age" (Yuck!). Note that interest in the paranormal and psi does not necessitate New Age angel-gushing sentimental claptrap.

I think a lot of people believe that all New Age people think and believe alike and I'm just here to tell you for the record that it isn't true.

I do consider myself to be somewhat "New Agey" but there are some aspects of it that I either don't like or don't buy into.

And I'm going to leave it at that to avoid argument.

Note that interest in the paranormal and psi does not necessitate New Age angel-gushing sentimental claptrap.

I agree. Psi are anomalies related to the mind and they do not involve any ideology to make sense of life as the New Age.

The New Age is one of those terms that encompasses everything from ancient tradition like Buddhism to recently invented one(or recreated constructed like Wicca. If it makes you feel more connected with the universe that's OK with me.

However having been a Zen student/Priest/ Roshi for nearly fifty years,when someone at asocial gathering suddenly spouts their into "Zen" it can irritate me.

I have been student of the Middle Ager's since I was a kid. You realize very quickly how fragile their lives were and how short. SO they must have lived with death eminent at any time, but they persevered and lived full if short lives.
TO be curious about an after life is only morbid if I think it accompanies a deep depression.
Also the fact that the academic know it all's and ardent atheists ridicule the idea makes it even more attractive to me.

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